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From Brooklyn, New York, USA:

I am seeing vitamin supplements made specifically for diabetics. What do you think of them? Are they legit or just a marketing gimmick? Those on this team who have answered previous questions in this forum re: vitamins seem to think they are unnecessary, although I did see the posting that research at Duke found a protective effect in subjects with Type 2 who took antioxidant formulations.

Would antioxidants help lessen complications in Type I diabetics, as well? Since there seems to be an increased interest in "complimentary therapies" recently, I'm wondering if the Diabetes Team here has specific information about vitamins, whether they are specifically targeted to diabetics or not.


I have previously thought that vitamins and other trace nutrients are present in sufficient amounts in most well-balanced, non-vegetarian meal plans, but there is some recent information from a study in Boston, presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting in June, 1998, which suggested that Vitamin E treatment might help the blood flow in the very small arteries in the eyes and kidneys of Type 1 patients. Using Vitamin E did not influence the blood sugar control (as measured by glycohemoglobin levels). I'll be very interested in seeing more studies to confirm this finding.

The problem with many of these supplements is that we don't have clear information on how much is enough to help, and whether too much might cause harm instead of help.


Original posting 2 Aug 1998
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet


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